Matallana 2019, Ribera del Duero, Spain
Matallana is testament of Telmo Rodriguez and Pablo Egnziza's commitment to making ancestral wines. Wines that are styled on how, and where, the wines were made and how they would have tasted from a region that has being making wines for over 1300 years. The pair started making wine in Ribera del Duero in 1998 and today they work across eleven separate vineyards and across five villages, with the village of Sotillo de la Ribera being the epicenter. (The lines across the label are the names of the 11 villages, blacked out, but that's another story). Rare and abandoned vines were reclaimed, new vines were grafted from these ancestral vines and planted as they would have been, as bush vines. The vines are organic, hand harvested with indigenous yeasts used for fermentation.
"An elegant year and this is how the nose of Matallana shows: famously fine. Black cherry, some charcoal behind, fine mint and eucalyptus trace, but ultra polished. Not at all reminiscent of sweet Ribera. More suggestive of Rioja on the nose. Then comes a mouthfeel that will be hard to beat for straightforwardness. Wow, what an ultra sharp black peppery black cherry definition! The sides are super clearly drawn, you immediately know where up, down, left and right are. The whole thing is accompanied by an extremely stony, salty minerality, black pepper, mint and eucalyptus. So black and at the same time so ultra-fine, so sweet and at the same time full of finesse! With more air the wine also develops red fruit, from sour cherry to raspberry and final even to red currant with that ultimate freshness. For Ribera del Duero, Matallana has its own dimension for me in this voluptuous, full-bodied, soft, ultra-sleek and fresh finesse. Opposites that seem almost incompatible. But the wine is so super polished. This brilliant freshness almost cannot be attributed to the Ribera del Duero region. An intense, super fine finesse blockbuster. The wine is definitely at the top of the region along with some other products, there Dominio del Aguila is definitely not so far! A superb masterpiece!" Heiner Lobenberg 97-100/100
"The 2019 Matallana is a blend of 85% Tinto Fino with some 15% other varieties such as Valenciano (Bobal), Navarro (Garnacha) and even white Albillo. 2019 was a very classical vintage with power, concentration and plenty of tannin, and the wine should develop and benefit from extended time in bottle. The wine feels very young and primary, with integrated spices from the élevage in oak, a medium to full-bodied palate, powerful and concentrated but very balanced. As I said in previous years, it's a Ribera like the ones from yesteryear! 18,676 produced with the selected grapes from 21 hectares of vineyards. It was bottled in July 2021." Robert Parker 96+/100
To many, Telmo Rodriguez, who, along with his sister Amaia, runs the impressive Remelluri winery in Rioja, needs no introduction but it's his partnership with fellow winemaker, Pablo Egnziza that has created the exciting range of wines that come together under the umbrella of Telmo Rodriguez Wines. The two have have spent the past thirty years reclaiming abandoned vineyards of indigenous grapes, across a number of regions. Together they are working with over 350 separate small plots, totalling 80 hectares and 43 different varieties of native grapes.